tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC January 6, 2016 6:00pm-7:01pm PST
law and grass roots movements. >> we will be at the vermont pub and brewery in the midst of the madness tomorrow. rachel maddow starts right now z. >> i have i some late-breaking news. i know you listen to the top of the show anyway but in this case it may affect your travel plans. >> i will be watching. >> thanks to you at home for joining us. today is an auspicious day in american politics. the election of 2016 is officially under way. as of today, south carolina has started sending out its ballots. they started sending out today their ballots to military personnel and south carolina residence who are overseas. so those folks with start voting now in the south carolina primary. it's on! voters have started the process of picking the presidential
nominees for the presidential race in the country this year. whoo-hoo! >> south carolina calls itself the first in the south primary for both the democrats and the republicans. for democrats it's a particularly important state because non-white voters are such an important part and such a big part of the democratic party's voting base and the other early states, new hampshire and iowa, they're pretty white. so for democrats, south carolina is really important test of the strength of their various candidates particularly among this very, very important group that is african-american democratic voters. that's true for the democratic party. for the republican party, south carolina has always represented a more complex challenge because after iowa and new hampshire get their say, south carolina is the republicans' first chance to measure which of their candidates appeal to the hardest of the republican hard core. south carolina republicans are very, very conservative, they're
almost 100% white, they are hard line, southern republican base voters. and, you know, overall the challenge, right, for the republican nominee, right, is that they've got to play to the republican base in order to get the nomination but then they need to pivot to be more generally appealing in the general election. south carolina is the first stop in the republican primary process for the most difficult republican base voters when it comes to the general election, these southern white hardliner base voters, south carolina is where they get their first say in who the republican picks as their presidential nominee. so that's how it's been for more than a generation now, that's how it's been for years. this year, though, things are a little bit different. south carolina is still technically first in the south, but this year there's a lot more of the south in the early process. because this year just a week and a half after south carolina republicans go, you know, show themselves as the first in the south, a week and a half after
that, all of these other states are going to go vote all on the same day. all on march 1st. all these southern states. plus these other non-southern states, too. the mega tuesday primaries that are going to happen on march 1st this year, they will have the effect this year of making the early nominating process way more southern than it usually is. so, yeah, south carolina is still first in the south but right on its heels is a lot more of the south. and for democrats that means the concerns and preferences of african-american voters in particular will be of even more electoral importance than usual in this year's democratic primary. for republicans it means the party is foregrounding the concerns and preferences of not just a very white part of their base but the most hard core, most pure live white part of their base. what effect will this have on the nominating process overall? don't know.
the latest national polling still has mr. donald trump absolutely killing the rest of the field approximately that said, the nomination is not decided by a national vote. the nomination is decided state by state. the latest early state poll, the first one of the new year came out today. turns out it's fascinating. these are the results from the new new hampshire poll that just came out from public policy polling. this new ppp new hampshire poll shows donald trump nearly lapping the rest of the field. he's near 29% in new hampshire, his nearest competitor is marco rubio at 15%. donald trump has a 14% lead in the only new hampshire polls that been taken so far this year but what's fascinating and totally new is the first time in this poll or any other poll out of new hampshire, there are six different candidates who are in double digits. the field could not be more split. yeah, donald trump is still leading but look at the rest of the field. if donald trump is sort of the
nonestablishment candidate and guys like chris christie and marco rubio and john kasich and jeb bush, if they're the establishment candidates, the more mainstream choices, right, new hampshire's support for the mainstream/establishment choices, it just couldn't be more evenly split. it's like a five-way car crash of candidates getting between 10% and 15% there. you seed ted cruz, jeb bush, john kasich, marco rubio, that are all bunched up there, all in double digits between 10 and 15%. as long as all those establishment guys keep splitting up all of that mainstream vote, then ta-da, donald trump wins. donald trump is trading the lead or tie with the lead with ted cruz, which is crazy.
donald trump is winning. when that first started to become clear, looking ahead to the weird southern-heavy calendar this year, it's weird how a head haired candidate -- it's exactly why donald trump has been playing in a place like alabama where he keeps having these raucous, wallace-style rallies. tonight george wallace's family, his daughter and two of his top former staffers have said they think donald trump indeed is squarely in the tradition of george wallace, he is running the same kind of campaign and he is the same kind of politician. so welcome to your southern
heavy world of republican presidential politics this year. new york real estate developer morphs into 1960s era southern governor for the win. because he really is playing to win, though, front-runner donald trump is not only going for it in these unlikely venues in the deep south. this is this nutty map of all the states voting on march 1st on super duper tuesday this year. donald trump has been working this map, which is why this week was his third big rally in the otherwise unlikely venue of massachusetts. donald trump keeps doing big massachusetts events, which is weird for a republican presidential contender unless they're making a super tuesday play because massachusetts is one of those states outside the south that will also be voting on march 1st. another state outside the south that will be voting at the same
time outside march 1 is vermont. we will be treated to the expect call of donald trump not on campaigning in the bernie sanders' state of vermont but the largest city, burlton vermont. burlington has a population of only about 42,000 people. though small in size, the city of burlington does have a lot of attractions, including the university of vermont, which is lovely. it's situated downtown, takes up a lot of the downtown area. there's also the site of the original ben & jerry's, which i've been to, which is awesome. it boasts the historic flynn theater. it started as a motion picture
venue back in the 1970s. if you are interested in going to the flynn theater, if you go to the flip you can catch the broadway national tour of "rag time" there. and after that willco will be playing. it's gorgeous. before all that, there is a huge act coming to the flynn theater in burlington vermont, one night only, donald trump is going to be there. he's going to bernie sanders' hometown, holding a trump rally at the flynn. maybe that makes sense because alongside the deep south states, vermont and massachusetts will be voting in republican primaries very early this year on march 1st. here's the thing about this vermont trip. burlington is officially freaking out about this donald trump tomorrow night. not necessarily because it's donald trump coming to their town, though i'm certain there's a little of that, too. it's a very specific problem. the donald trump campaign has
distributed 20,000 tickets to this event tomorrow night in burlington. 20,000. that's half the population of burlington. the really specific problem is that the flynn theater is physically incapable of holding half the population of burlington. the flynn theater holds only 1,400 people, including the balcony, but the trump campaign has given out 20,000 tickets. if those people do show up to hear trump speak, only 1,400 of them are going to get in. it will be less than that because the 1,400 seating chart can y includes seating for the press. that means 18,000 people could be conceivably turning up and doing what? what are they going to do? the burlington police chief tonight said more than 6,500 people have confirmed they're
going to attend. that is still way too many for that space. the police chief tells the burlington free press tonight that if it were a rock band that had handed out 20,000 free tickets, the police would of course cancel that event in the interest of public safety. but this is a political event. what are they going to do? this is a recipe for chaos tomorrow in lovely burlington, vermont. honestly we have no idea what's going to happen. chaos has been the best way to describe the whole republican race this season but tomorrow night it's going to be chaos of a very specific kind. as of right now i can tell you the trump campaign is still giving away even more tickets online to this event as i speak. again, they are over20,000 tickets distributed already, and the venue only holds 1,400 people. and right now they are still handing out tickets. what could possibly go wrong? joining us from burlington is
paul heinz, the political editor for "seven days newspaper." thank you for being with us. >> thanks for having me, rachel. >> what happens if 20,000 people show up tomorrow night for an event in downtown burlington? is downtown burlington equipped to handle that kind of crowd? >> it's going to be a mess. they are going to close down some of the streets and there are going to be tons of protesters. there will are traditional march and rallies to silent protests. if they're not inside the flynn theater, they're probably going to be outside making a lot of noise, maybe being silent but certainly protesting donald trump's visit here. >> i've just been given a statement from the mayor of burlington, myra weinberger said
vermonters value the first amendment in robust political debate. in this spirit i welcome mr. trump and his presidential campaign to burlington tomorrow. there's still time for the campaign to communicate with the thousands of ticket holders to reduce the possibility of inconvenience or public safety risk for attendees tomorrow night. i urge the trump campaign to take appropriate steps to ensure the event proceeds smoothly and without incident. >> we rarely get republican presidential candidates around here. in fact, it's worth noting that throughout his eight years in office, george w. bush visited 49 states. the one state he did not visit
was vermont. so we don't really have much experience with this sort of thing. president obama visited a couple times. but to have someone like donald trump who i would say it's safe to say many burlingtonians disagree with, it's just a difficult situation. i don't know exactly how they're going to manage this. ilt going to it going to be definitely a mess tomorrow night. >> is it supposed to be wicked cold tomorrow night? >> it's always cold this time of year. >> paul heintz, editor of "seven days newspaper." i enjoy your paper. >> it's good to hear that. >> we have much more ahead tonight, including the surprising thing vice president biden said tonight about the race for president this year and
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this is something i did not expect to hear. i might have suspected it was true, but i did not expect to hear it out loud. today vice president joe biden sat down for an interview with a local station in hartford, connecticut. he decided after a long time mulling it over he would not run for president. but watch this exchange with the nbc station in hartford. it's on the subject of his decision not to run. >> any regrets to not throwing your hat in the ring? >> sure, i regret it every day but it was the right decision for my family and for me, and i plan on staying deeply involved. we've got two good candidates. >> i'm not going to speculate as
to who he means by two good candidates, since there's three of them still in the race. more newsworthy is the vice president's assertion "i regret it every day." there are no signs the vice president is going to ask for a do-over, it just too late for him to reverse course but the vice president didn't say explicitly in this interview tonight that not running for president this year is a decision that he regrets every single day. more ahead. stay with us tonight. this is claira. to prove to you that aleve is the better choice for her she's agreed to give it up. that's today? we'll be with her all day to see how it goes.
dramatic, right? that's the animation that rolls before the official state broadcast comes on. last night the drama of the music was more warranted than usual. >> translator: the test of the hydrogen bomb was successful. a great event has happened shaking the world at the exciting time. one's destiny should be defended only with one's own strength. nothing would be more stupid than laying down a hunting gun before a herd of fierce wolves. >> we, the united states, would be the fierce wolves in that motivating little metaphor and the hunting gun that shouldn't be laid down, that would be the hydrogen bomb that north korea claims to have just set off,
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addelaid steven sunday. president truman decided to bequeath to his predecessor something terrifying and that the new president, whoever it was going to be, had no idea was even possible. where harry truman decided to conjure this little gift was here. you hit hawaii, keep heading southwest and when you're about halfway to australia, what you come to out in the middle of the pacific ocean is the marshal island, a country made up of 1,156 search pra 6 separate isl. up until the three days before the presidential, the marshal islands had one more island than that. president truman gave the order that resulted in one of the
islands of the marshal islands being vaporized. they completely destroyed that island, wiped it off the face of the map with one bomb, a bomb that was bigger than any bomb that had ever been set off before on earth, bigger than any other bomb on earth by a huge margin and that bomb's name was mike. mike. mike? the bombs that had been set off seven years earlier at the end of world war ii, those bombs were named fat man and little boy. those were atomic boys. one used uranium, one used plu to -- plutonium. they were huge. the bomb of nagasaki was the equivalent of 21,000 tons of tnt. the bomb that truman set off in
marshal islands, mike, that bomb that videotaporized one of the marshall islands in 1952 was the equivalent of 10 million tons of tnt. 10 million tons. it was a qualitatively different animal. when they set off that bomb, that bomb named mike in 1952 in the marshall islands, the fire ball reached a height of nearly 60,000 feet. the typical cruising altitude for a commercial airliner is about 30,000 feet. just the fire ball was double that height. the mushroom cloud it created was a hundred miles wide. every nuclear bomb is obviously a big deal but some a bigger deal than others. in the early 1950s, starting with that first explosion in the
marshall islands, the united states graduated from the ones like we dropped on japan, the fishing bombs, we graduated that day in 1952 to fusion bombs, bombs that were at least a thousand times more powerful than the kinds of nuclear bombs we'd had before. fusion bombs worked not been splitting atoms but by fusing atoms together. they are much, much, much more powerful. they are much harder to make. but once you've mastered how to make them, here's one of the reasons they are much more scary. not just because they can be so much more powerful, but it's because once you know how to make one of these fusion bombs, they can be manufactured pretty small. it can be made -- fairly small physical devices. and that means strategically that they don't have to be bombs the size of small houses that get pushed out of huge, slow moving air plains. they can be fairly small devices
that can be packed on to missiles and shot all the way across the world. north korea set off its first nuclear explosion during the george w. bush administration in 2006, they set off another one in 2009, set off another one in 2013. they have built nuclear bombs, they have caused nuclear explosions but the bombs they have built have not been particularly good ones and the explosions they've set off have not been particularly big ones. all three of their nuclear explosions thus far were thought to be the product of fission bombs. last month the ferocious little dictator who inherited his position from his dad, he started saying they were ready to set off a thermonuclear
device that was a fusion bomb, not fission. they said it was a test of the kind that wiped the island off the map in 1952. if that is what they did, then north korea has not only developed a much more powerful nuclear bomb than they did before, they developed one that could be miniaturized and sent on a missile and sent around the globe. that's the bad news of what they did last night. the good news is the people who really understand these things are utterly convinced that north korea is lying about it. my friend joe, thank you for
being here. >> my pleasure, rachel. let me ask if i explained that right in terms of the different kind of nuclear weapons? >> that is exactly right. people have lost touch with how powerful these hydrogen bombs are. these are the weapons we have. enormously destruct of devices. most people don't understand the difference between appn atomic d hydrogen bomb. >> do you believe that north korea is lying when they said they set off a hydrogen bomb? >> yes, i believe they are exaggerating their capabilities and exaggerating the device. kim jong un is the donald trump of north korea. he makes outlandish statements but that doesn't necessarily mean that they're true.
we can measure the earthquake that was generated by this blast and we can make an estimate of its yield of the device, which clocks in at something like 6,000 tons. that's a pretty big explosion, but it's not like you would expect from a hydrogen bomb. and even a failed hydrogen bomb would come in at 10, 20, 50,000 tons of explosive force. that's why most of us think this is not a true hydrogen bomb. >> let me restate that so i get the scale here. say hiroshima, it would have been a hundred times bigger than that bomb? >> right. even if a test, a scaled down
test, you would expect a much bigger signature and we didn't get that. that's why you heard the white house come out today and say the data so far is inconsistent with the claim that this is a hydrogen bomb. >> even if this wasn't a hydrogen bomb, joe, is there reason to believe that they are moving toward that capability? >> that is the really bad -- the good news is that they didn't do it. in fact, whatever they were trying to do, it probably didn't succeed. this was actually a little smaller than the test they had in 2013. the bad news is they're trying. this is their fourth test. and even in a failed test, you learn something from your mistakes. the lesson for us is if we leave them alone and just continue doing nothing and don't engage north korea and don't do something different from what we're doing, these guys are one ad day are going to get a hydrogen bomb. even for the 12 or 20 hours when we thought they might have a
hydrogen bomb, people were freaked that north korea might have a women teapon that two or of which could destroy japan. that's why they are meeting in emergency session tomorrow. >> now the fear is not just that they have those weapons but they're aiming at it. joe cirincione, clear and direct, thank you very much. >> thank you, rachel. >> we'll be right back. stay with us. many people clean their dentures with toothpaste or plain water. and even though their dentures look clean, in reality they're not. if a denture were to be put under a microscope, we can see all the bacteria that still exists on the denture, and that bacteria multiplies very rapidly. that's why dentists recommend
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been a story of anger and outrage and at some level a story of hijacked democracy in michigan. it is also now becoming a who done it. who is responsible for poisoning the children of flint? and so on that part of the story, here's this really interesting document. newly obtained by virginia tech professor mark edwards, who did his own blockbuster study of the water in flint, which is how we all know what a disaster this all was. professor edwards obtained this document this week and nbc nightly news confirmed the text of this e-mail was written by governor rick snyder's chief of staff. he says, "i'm frustrated by the water issue in flint. i really don't think people are getting the benefit of the doubt. now they are concerned and rightfully show about the lead level studies they are receiving from the state samples.
these folks are scared and worried about the health impacts and they're basically getting blown off by us. as a state, we're simply not sympathizing with their plight." nbc nightly news confirming today these are the words of governor rick snyder's chief of staff, put down in an e-mail forwarded to several people at the michigan state health department back in july. by that point michigan seas state government had been getting data and evidence and increasingly alarming warnings since at least february that they had done something terrible in flint. i mean, there was this e-mail on february 26th from the epa to two michigan state officials with the subject line "high lead, flint water testing results." this goes back to what you and i were talking about yesterday that is correct the different chemistry water is leaching out
con it a contaminants. that was the epa telling them the water is corrosive, it is leaching lead out of the pipes there. that's the state being told what was wrong by the epa in february. the schneider administration told the people of flint to relax, keep drinking the water. then there was the memo in june, "high lead levels in flint, michigan." copied on that memo, four different officials on the state agency. "there does appear to be a higher proportion of elevated blood lead levels last summer than usual." an e-mail in september to three state colleagues, "sounds like there might be more to this than what we learned previously.
yikes." that's literally written in the e-mail, yikes. and from the governor's chief of staff "people in flint are concerned and rightfully so about their water. they're getting blown off by the state of michigan. but all the while, for months after that, the schneider administration kept saying publicly, relax, drink the water, drink up, serve it to your kids, go on, while this was what was going on internally in the schneider administration. and this is just a sampling of the information we've got that proves that the schneider administration knew what was going on while they were saying publicly otherwise and the kids in flint were still drinking that water. so, yeah, the u.s. attorney's office is now investigating. federal prosecutors confirm they are actively working on that issue. the day that investigation became publicly known, yes, right, governor schneider signed for the first time a disaster
declaration for flint. but even with the disaster declaration, the state is still say they go ccan handle this themselves. the governor is not asking for any kind of federal help or involvement. but up know what, if this is the way we got here, if this is what happened to the kids in flint and why, if this is what the state government behaved, would you want that same state government fixing this? we got this from local researchers and journalists prying this stuff out. kurt guyet spent a life time working as a journalist and joined the michigan champipter the aclu. he got the memo of the high levels of lead. he posted that memo.
and working with mark edwards' team from virginia tech, which did its own analysis of the lead in flint's water. it's an unusual combination of talents and expertise and passion and doggedness in pursuit of one of the most astonishing american governance stories that i have ever heard. kurt guyet is next. once-daily breo prevents asthma symptoms. breo is for adults with asthma not well controlled on a long-term asthma control medicine, like an inhaled corticosteroid. breo won't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden breathing problems. breo opens up airways to help improve breathing for a full 24 hours. breo contains a type of medicine that increases the risk of death from asthma problems and may increase the risk of hospitalization in children and adolescents. breo is not for people whose asthma is well controlled on a long-term asthma control medicine, like an inhaled corticosteroid. once your asthma is well controlled, your doctor will decide if you can stop breo and prescribe a
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are you taking a zumba class? just prepping for my boss' party in a couple weeks. what are those? crest whitestrips. they whiten way better than paste. crest 3d white whitestrips... whiten 25 times better than the leading whitening toothpaste. i'd say... ...someone's making quite an impression. crest 3d white whitestrips. the way to whiten. i'm here to get free water because the water in flint is poisoned with lead and all kind of kchemicals in it. it's just a disgrace for somebody to do actually a mass poisoning. i mean, this is a whole community. we're talking about 100,000 people. you wouldn't tell them that the water was no good, even when they showed it to you, you kept telling us that we could drink this water. >> that's a local flint, michigan resident named mildred larkin. she was picking up donated water
this weekend because the water at her home had contaminants and toxic lead levels. the reason we know this is because of some really dogged activists and journalists in michigan. kurt guyet has been working the story for the michigan chapter of the aclu. thank you very much for joining us and thank up for your work on this story. >> thanks for having me on. >> what do you consider to be some of the most important still unanswered questions here? >> well, one of the big unanswered questions is what role governor rick snyder's office had in all this. a couple months ago back in september actually i interviewed howard kroft, the former director of public works for the city of flint and at that time
they were still telling the lie that flint was forced to use the river because detroit kicked them off. mr. kroft in an interview tried to reit rate that. i had a document from a former emergency manager showing that he rejected an offer from detroit that would have kept flint getting clean, safe water, and when confronted with that, he caved in, told the truth and said, well, we looked at the situation, an evaluation was made by the state to use the river because it was cheaper. and i said did it go all the way up to the governor's office? and he said yes. and then subsequent to that, i interviewed sara wurfle, she has since resigned and asked her about mr. kroft's assertion and
she said she couldn't address it and she said it couldn't have come from the governor because detroit kicked flint off the system. the question of did the governor's office have a direct role in deciding to use the river is one of the big unanswered questions in this. another big unanswered question -- >> i'm sorry, go ahead. >> on that point, it's been interesting to me to find out that michigan's only one of i think two states in the country where you can't foia documents, you can't use the freedom of information act to get documents out of the government directly. without that power do you think the federal investigation, what's the trail to get to what the governor himself did? >> well, one of the things we've been doing it filing freedom of information act requests with the department of treasury, the mdeq, and the city of flint to
try to see if -- because if they're communicating with the governor's office, then you can see it on that end. so we've been trying to go through that route. and haven't gotten anything substantial yet but we are continuing to file foias. i just filed a new one today with the city trying to get information there to determine that. but i don't see why mr. kroft would have lied about it at that point. >> i interrupted you a moment ago when you said there's one other important unanswered question that you think needs pulling on right now. what were you going to say there? >> that it's sort of mystifying but in all the foia documents that i reviewed that mark edward has got, there's no discussion of the corrosivity of the river before making the cision to switch. so either they didn't do
diligence and look at the make-up of the river to determine whether it was safe, which would seem to be gross intelligence not to have and deo use the river anyhow. mark edwards said that anybody with even rudimentary understanding of chemistry could have looked at the situation and in five minutes determined that the disaster that occurred could have been totally predictable. so how the state could have allowed, actually forced the people of flint to begin using this dangerously corrosive river without knowing what it would do beforehand is unconscionable. >> curt guyette whose work has just been absolutely invaluable, not just locally, but in terms of helping us all nationally. congratulations on your work thus far and good luck. thank you. >> thank you. >> we've got some breaking news
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wall street was on track for its worst opening day of the year in 84 years. well, the terrible mark, the crash on monday this week had to do mainly with china. china, in fact, had to shut down its stock market on monday because it plunged so far. it wasn't just like a normal bad trading day in china. they literally used circuit breakers to stop trading on the mark because the market there was crashing so fast. that crash in china on monday b, that's what caused the major drob here that same day. well now tonight, thanks to the magic of time differences, the stock market has just within this hour opened for thursday in china and it has happened again. just within the last few moments, china has had to halt trading in its stock market again because of a massive selloff that plunged that market down all at once. the stock market was reportedly only opened for about 15 minutes before chinese officials basically pulled the circuit breakers and shut it down. this, again, just developing
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they're nimble enough to launch counter assaults. big, tough nimble shifts. but there's also different kinds of ships that sensually act as support systems for those kinds of navy vessels like, for example, replenishment oilers. they provide supplies to fleet units bhiel they're far out from port. they carry hundreds of thousands of gallons of diesel and jet fuel to resupply warships while they're out at sea. unlike most other navy vessels, replenishment oilers operate with a mostly civilian crew. today, the u.s. navy announced a new fleet of the next generation of these ships about to be built. want know what the first one is going to be called? it's the u.s. naval ship john lewis. it's going to be named for civil rights icon john lewis. not only that, the entire class of these new ships is going to be designated as the john lewis
class. long before he became a congressman, john lewis fought for civil rights for nonviolence, organizing sit-ins and freedom rides. he did so even though he himself was attacked brutally as an activist. he was beaten so badly on bloody sunday that his skull was fractured and he nearly died. throughout john lewis' life, he has been this world class devotee and prak tictitioner an teacher of nonviolence. on one hand it's weird to name a naval ship. on the other hand, you would em blazen his name not on the side of his destroyer, but on the side of a support ship, that's in existence to serve others. congressman lewis said when the idea was shared with me that he would like to name a ship for me, we both teared up a bit and i almost lost it. he said, quote, this is such a magnificent vessel. it is a great honor. it is my hope the uss john lewis
and the entire class of ships commemorating civil rights heroes will inspire future generations to do all they can to serve humanity and this country. the u.s. nay vl ship john lewis, a whole new class of u.s. naval ships called the john lewis class, all of which will be named after civil rights heroes. come on. best new thing in the world today. that does it for us tonight. we will see you again tomorrow. now it's time for "the last word" with lawrence o'donnell. >> i will never forget the day in washington when i met john lewis by phone when he called me to ask about something. and the phone just shook in my hand. i couldn't believe that john lewis was on the other end of the line. >> i have never done anything nicer for my father the day i introduced him to john lewis. >> can i ask you to do something nice for me? >> yes. >> i need a little help. it's a pronunciation thing. the name of that state right